Watch Until The World Ends

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Let’s take a minute to process this year’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) that aired August 28.

Okay, processed.

Although MTV’s awards show does not hold the same stature as the Oscars, it offers entertainment for those who have a menial interest in pop culture. And despite mixed reviews, the VMAs scored MTV its highest amount of viewers ever: 12.4 million.

Since the 2009 Taylor Swift/Kanye West debacle, however, the VMAs split fans on whether the show tried to hard or did not try enough to impress them. Now, to the future: how can the 2012 VMAs redeem itself?

Kristen Tynan, a junior at Drew University, thought the VMAs never manage to live up to the hype they produce. “Everyone gets really excited about the VMAs, then it hops back and forth between being good and being boring,” she said.

How to fix the conundrum? She suggested maybe avoiding the awkwardness that ensues…particularly from stars with unique, sometimes off-putting personalities.

This year, the VMAs tried something new: the show went on without a host. Tynan believed that this worked well, but that some lackluster artists took away from the new setup.

“I don't necessarily think a host is necessary, the show did run well without one,” she said. “If they did decide to have a host, they should pick someone with high energy and who isn't awkward, because that show was a lot of awkward.” Particularly, pairing Cloris Leachman with the cast of "Jersey Shore" caused quite the generational gap, leaving the crowd with little to laugh about.

But some students thought otherwise. Eric Faber, a sophomore at Cornell University, thought otherwise. Faber found Lady Gaga’s quirkiness to be just what the show needed: “I like how Lady Gaga puts on a performance,” he said. “She makes her songs deeper through these performances.”

Viewers are bound to have different tastes, but in order to keep up with the ratings, Faber said the 2012 VMAs’ primary goal must be innovation.

“I think creative performances make the show the most entertaining; artists putting on more of a show rather than just singing a song,” Faber said.

Tynan added, “I think the VMAs do well when they pick the popular and what's out. Pick the popular music and people will enjoy it.”

Photo courtesy of MTV

Sophomore > Journalism> University of Maryland

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